Genetic Counseling Service
What is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling is the process by which expectant parents are advised of their risk of passing genetic disorders on to their children, the nature and consequences of these disorders, as well as management options in order to prevent, avoid or reduce their effects.
Genetic counseling services also address risk factors unrelated to genetic predisposition for disease, but may present concerns. Avera McKennan is pleased to offer these services to our patients.
Referral to a Genetic Counselor
What may cause your physician to refer you to a Genetic Counselor?
There are a variety of situations when your physician may suggest adding the services of a genetic counselor, as part of your comprehensive health care team.
- When there is a family history for a genetic condition
- For most pregnant women over age 35
- When factors other than genetics (diabetes, diet, medication exposure, street drug consumption) may increase risks of complications and birth defects
- When concerns arise because of findings on a prenatal ultrasound and/or other screening tests
- Subsequent to the birth of a child who has a genetic condition
Remember: A recommendation for genetic counseling does not mean that there is something wrong with you and/or your baby. In fact, many parents who participate in genetic counseling experience uncomplicated pregnancies and welcome healthy babies.
Genetic Counseling For You and Your Family
What can Genetic Counseling do for you and your family?
Genetic counseling services may help you to:
- Make the healthiest choices for you and your family
- Better understand how to meet your child’s health care needs
- Make informed decisions regarding testing options
- Develop a greater understanding of tests or testing results
- Feel greater comfort about the testing process
- Better prepare for test results and for the arrival of children who may have special needs
Testing is also available for individuals who wish to have carrier gene testing for several common diseases. Further tests are also available when family history indicates and increased risk for less-common genetic conditions.